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Federer: My generation motivated me

Roger Federer at the ATP World Tour Finals (c)RichardWashbrooke

I like those guys that came from my generation, who have marked the sport, motivated me, admired me, crushed some dreams of mine

Roger Federer says he was saddened to see many of his contemporaries retire from the game this year because he loved watching them play

In a year in which we’ve seen Andy Roddick, 30, Juan Carlos Ferrero, 32, Ivan Ljubicic, 33, and Fernando Gonzalez, 32, hang up their rackets, 31-year-old Roger Federer has looked, at times, back to his very best. The Swiss ended a two-year Grand Slam drought by winning a seventh Wimbledon title, collected a silver medal for his efforts at the London Olympics, and for four months returned to world No.1 at a time when the world’s top four were sharing around major titles like a game of pass the parcel.

While Federer has flown the flag for his generation for the last decade, the 17-time Grand Slam champion says his fellow age group motivated him and he’s disappointed to see some of them leave the game. 

“First feeling I get is I'm a bit sad because I love watching them play still today,” said Federer, speaking at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals. “They could easily still play the tour. They only just retired. If they retire in the top 30, top 50, whatever they were ranked, they could be in the top 50 for the next five years. That's just not what they want to be doing any longer. They decide to hang up the rackets. I respect that in a big way.

“I always wish them all the best because there is a life after tennis,” the father-of-two added. “There must be. Those are smart guys, great champions. I think it's going to be interesting to see what they're going to follow now.

“But it is true, I do feel sad not seeing them so often anymore on tour because I like those guys that came from my generation, who have marked the sport, motivated me, admired me, crushed some dreams of mine.

“I always felt sad when I have to do the video message for Andy or Gonzalez or Ljubicic or Ferrero. It's not really what I want to do, but I'm happy because I know it might mean a lot to them. Yeah, sort of the time has come. It's an interesting time of life, I guess, because you've done it not only on the tour, but it goes way back when you were a little kid. It's emotional. It's supposed to be.”

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